Joe Dickinson decided to join a training scheme at Heysham 1 power station after keeping his friend company at a talk about apprenticeships.
Now just a few years later the 22-year-old from Bolton-le-Sands is the EDF Energy Apprentice of the Year.
Joe beat 60 other apprentices to win the top accolade organised by the owners of Heysham power stations.
He said he was “surprised, shocked and proud”.
“My friend was going along to find out about the power station apprenticeship scheme and I went with him to keep him company,” said Joe.
“When I finished my A levels, I knew I didn’t want to go university after being in school for 14 years, so I applied to EDF Energy.”
Joe’s mum, dad, sister and girlfriend were all at the EDF Energy apprentice graduation ceremony when he received the top award from the company’s CEO, Vincent de Rivaz.
Since starting as an apprentice in 2012, Joe has spent two years at the HMS Sultan training centre near Portsmouth, and the final two years getting on-the-job experience in Heysham 1’s control and instrumentation department. He has been involved with making plant improvements and the building of new manometers to use in the reactor building.
Richard Bradfield, station director at Heysham 1, said: “We are all very proud of Joe, who thoroughly deserved this award.”